Accused gang in custody
Vadodara: The forest department arrested five persons trying to sell a snake — red sand boa in the city. A snake was also seized from the accused. Forest officials said that they are yet to nab one more person helping the gang.
Forest officials said that the Gujarat Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (GSPCA) volunteers had received information about this gang. “We learnt that the gang was trying to sell a red sand boa for Rs 42 lakh. We then set a trap and sent in a decoy customer to buy the boa on Thursday. The deal was decided and the gang was to hand over the boa near a vehicle showroom on NH-8,” said Nidhi Dave, range forest officer (RFO).
Three members of the gang turned up with the boa and as soon as they showed the reptile to the decoy customer, forest officials turned up and arrested the trio.
Two other gang members were arrested on Friday.
The accused have been identified as Chintan Parmar, Harun Khatri, Zakir Khatri, Dinesh Mochi and Govind Rabari. Investigations are on to ascertain if the gang had sold such reptiles in the past.
The boa seized by the forest officials is three-feet long and weighs two kilograms. “Many believe that the reptile brings luck and money. So it is sold by such gangs at very high price,” Dave told TOI.
Red sand boas, popularly known as two-headed snake, is a protected species under Wildlife Protection Act. It is a non-venomous snake that is sometimes valued in crores of rupees.
Many believe that the snake has medicinal values while some use it for black magic too.